I am not a handy man. When I need an oil change, I travel 5 miles down the road to have it done at Jiffy Lube. If I need my lawn nicely manicured, I call someone to do it.
However, when my computer is bogged down, I know how to fix it. I simply reboot my computer. The reason I know this is because the first question an IT person asks, almost invariably, is “have you rebooted your computer?” Rebooting can fix so many problems.
For instance, sometimes Windows halts because there is a low-level error caused by a hardware malfunction. To gather the information needed, the system must be shut down and then rebooted. Why? Because it can’t be fixed otherwise. Thus, the reboot fixes the problem because it allows the computer to start over from square one.
Sometimes when I am going through the daily grind, I need a reboot. Maybe a simple reboot may work for your situation too?
I returned from a trip recently with a lot on my mind. I wasn’t looking forward to getting back to the hustle and bustle on Monday morning. Quite frankly, I was bummed. What I needed was to start over from square one.
I found my reboot instructions in I Thessalonians 5:16-18, which offers three areas where you and I may need a reboot. The instruction is followed by the statement, “this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
My reboot came in the form of asking myself three questions.
1. Am I rejoicing? – Paul explains how to deal with the effects of living in a world that is far from perfect. To rejoice is to find deep contentment in the Lord, whatever our circumstances may be. Therefore, we need to ask ourselves where our contentment lies. You may ask, “How am I to rejoice if I am loaded down with so many responsibilities I need to tend to?” Make a conscious decision to do so. After all, it is a command.
2. Am I praying? – Paul exhorts his readers to pray without ceasing. Oftentimes, we pray when we are in trouble. If this is the only time we pray, there is a good chance you and I will not walk in the victory God promised.
3. Am I thankful? – One thing you and I can do is approach our situation with thankfulness for all the things you do have. Make a list. Thankfulness was the advice Paul gave to the Thessalonians when he said, “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (I Thess. 5:18). Notice he said, “all circumstances.”
So, the next time you are tempted to get bummed about your circumstances, remember to ask yourself if you are rejoicing, praying, and thanking God for everything.